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Solar panels were installed last week on a 2006 Madras Habitat for Humanity home

 - Habitat for Humanity homeowner Thijmen Samayoa (holding his twin daughters Merida and Azura) asked the Habitat board for assistance in installing solar panels on his home. Also pictured are his mother, Maricela Samayoa, and PureLight Power Sales Consultant Cory Reece.

A 14-year-old Habitat for Humanity home got an upgrade last week when workers from PureLight Power installed solar panels on the roof of the house.

"I have always wanted to switch over to solar power and save a whole lot of money and never have to pay a power bill," said the Madras Habitat homeowner Thijmen Samayoa, adding that the project happened because of the support of the new board.

Jefferson County Habitat for Humanity Board Vice President Davida Plaisted said Samayoa gave the board of directors a very detailed and supportable presentation on the opportunity for the family to save electricity costs over the long run.

"Knowing that stable family budgets along with savings makes a solid community, the board voted to extend an interest-free loan to Thijmen for the upgrade of the solar panel purchase and installation," Plaisted said. "Jefferson County Habitat for Humanity is investing in continued stability, home infrastructure, utility savings and enhancing home value with their homeowners."

It's not every day that the Central Oregon branch of PureLight Power gets to install solar panels on a Habitat for Humanity home.

 - PureLight Power employees Christopher Bristow (on the roof) and Nathan Thomason prepare to install solar panels on Samayoa's Madras home."It's a partnership between all three of us," said PureLight Power Sales Consultant Cory Reece. "It's been a group effort to get to this point."

Habitat for Humanity is a global nonprofit organization that helps families build and improve places to call home. The local organization built the Ashwood Road home in Madras for Samayoa's parents in 2006. He is now the homeowner, and his mother, longtime girlfriend and 2-year-old twin daughters also live in the home.

Samayoa said thanks to Plaisted, the new Habitat board and Reece, they were able to figure out a solution to affordably install the solar panels on his home.

"Cory has been with me every step of the way, trying to get it all done," Samayoa said. "I was just hoping they'd take off one of the liens so I could get my own loan, but this is way better. … I was very excited for it."

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